Sightline Argues the Case for Remote Verification in Nevada Casinos

Cashless payments were all the rage during the pandemic, and the momentum such solutions gathered during 2020 and the better part of 2021 may finally be transforming them into a permanent part of the casino gambling landscape in places such as Nevada.

A proposal by Sightline Payments, an expert in the delivery of such technology, was heard by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) last week and touched on the feasibility of implementing the concept to Silver State’s gambling properties.

Sightline Payments wants to improve not just AML and KYC practices but also empower consumers. The company’s proposal targets Regulation 5.225 per the NBCB regulatory code of conduct, and it seeks to allow players to verify customer identity remotely if they have a cashless gaming account.

Nevada has been adamant about in-person registration and identity verification, a legacy of the state’s mafia days and Las Vegas belonging to organized crime in the US decades earlier. The registration process requires furnishing a government-issued ID to be verified.

Sightline Payments argues that the exact same process could be carried from a distance. The company has already implemented its cashless payment system successfully with Boyd Gaming and Resorts World Las Vegas.

Will Sightline Payments Get a Go-Ahead?

The important thing to mention here is that Sightline is not contending that such verifications should apply to remote gambling options. Rather, it focuses exclusively on consumers who want to visit the casino but have their identity pre-verified so they can enjoy their gaming stay rather than dealing with red tape.

The original proposal was submitted in 2020 but was resubmitted to better reflect on this distinction. While the NGCB has not been able to reach a decision on the matter, it has agreed to assign a special hearing that will further examine the merits of the proposal. The Board’s approval is important as it has clout with the Nevada Gaming Commission, which is ultimately the entity that can introduce the change and allow remote identity verification.

Sightline wants to ensure that players who are already making use of the company’s namesake Sightline Play+ mobile technology can have a complete experience. Presently, the solution is available at the Resorts World Las Vegas, which effectively became the first property to leverage the technology on The Strip.

Empower Customers Through Remote Registration

However, consumers were surprised that the Sightline solution would not allow them to verify their identity, prompting the company to seek regulatory approval, which is now taking over a year. In contrast, conscientious objectors have said that verifying your identity is a process that only takes a few minutes. Getting a hold of an employee and the frequent churn of customers is not an easy thing to navigate.

Sightline co-CEO Omer Sattar said that while most land-based properties were able to verify identity within five or so minutes, there have been cases of delays of up to two hours, which easily leads to congestion, player dissatisfaction and hurts gambling companies bottom lines.

However, there has been some opposition. According to gaming lawyer Marc Rubinstein, casinos must document how they verify customers’ identity as per the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Not doing so in person would violate federal regulation. However, FinCEN has been increasingly on the side of casinos, offering a robust regulatory framework while easing up on some of its strictest mandates. Verifications on casino floors are bound to become much easier in time, and Sightline is a step in that direction.

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